Recital by Acclaimed American Pianist at NUI Galway Announced

Monday, 23 February 2009

Acclaimed American pianist Dr Orin Grossman will give a free lunchtime piano recital at NUI Galway's Aula Maxima Upper on Tuesday, 3 March at 1pm. The hour-long programme 'SWonderful – the Music of George Gershwin and Friends will feature the music of George Gershwin, ragtime musician Scott Joplin, and novelty piano composer Zez Confrey. The free, ticketless concert is open to the public and all are welcome. Since his successful New York Carnegie Recital Hall debut, Dr Grossman has pursued a long-standing interest in American jazz and popular music. His innovative combination of classical pieces with his transcriptions of jazz piano solos; and his extraordinary ability to move through different idioms, has led to a growing number of exciting and unusual recitals in New York and elsewhere around the world. In recent years, Dr. Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world. Recent concerts have been held in Cairo, New York, Florence, and St Petersburg, where he performed Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and gave the Russian premiere of Gershwin's Second Rhapsody with the St Petersburg Philharmonic. The Gershwin element of the recital will include Gershwin's three preludes, his first extended composition, Rhapsody in Blue, and six songs from The Gershwin Songbook to include: 'SWonderful; I am Just a Little Girl; The Man I Love; and Someone to Watch Over Me. According to Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer, NUI Galway: "This is a rare and marvellous opportunity to hear the music of Gershwin from the heart of a true aficionado. Orin Grossman performs this one-hour lunchtime as a special gift to NUI Galway and all music lovers, and is not to be missed". Orin Grossman began piano and theory instruction at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA at the age of five. He went onto Harvard College, where he graduated Magna cum Laude in Music and won the prestigious Concerto Competition. He continued his studies at Yale University, earning a Ph.D. in Music. In 1971, he toured France with the Yale Orchestra, winning particular acclaim in concerts in Paris and Lyon. Dr Grossman joined Fairfield University in 1975 as an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts. In 1991 he was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is currently the Academic Vice-President at Fairfield University, where he is also Professor of Visual and Performing Arts. For further information, contact Deirdre Lydon at the Arts & Theatre office, NUI Galway on 091 495098 or -ends-

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Las Vegas Conference for NUI Galway Medical Student

Monday, 23 February 2009

Third-year NUI Galway medical student Kapil Sharma is in Las Vegas this week to present at the Orthopaedic Research Society s 55th meeting. His presentation 'Tracking Human Adult and Fetal Stem Cells during Segmental Bone Repair' resulted from research carried out at the Georgia Institute of Technology, during a UREKA International Exchange Programme. The UREKA International Exchange Programme is one of two summer undergraduate research fellowship programmes, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, at the National Centre for Biomedical Science, NUI Galway. The UREKA programme promotes active research participation by undergraduate students from science, engineering and medicine, in a challenging and enjoyable research environment. Kapil, who was born in Galway city but grew up in Ennis, Co. Clare, spent three months last summer working in the US on a project that is part of a longstanding research partnership between NUI Galway and Georgia Institute of Technology. Working with Professor Frank Barry of NUI Galway's Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Professor Robert Guldberg of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Kapil's research encompassed orthopedic biomechanics, and bone and cartilage tissue engineering. Kapil is currently based in Sligo, where along with 16 other NUI Galway medical students, he is undertaking a year of clinical training at Sligo General Hospital. For him, the UREKA programme has been a very positive experience: "Participating in the UREKA International Exchange programme in Georgia Tech has been one of the most academic and professionally fulfilling experiences of my life. I am truly excited about travelling to Las Vegas, this is a remarkable opportunity for me to present the research I did over the summer as well as to represent REMEDI and NUI Galway". Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director, REMEDI, also praised the UREKA programme: "This is a perfect example of the immense value of the UREKA programme in providing training for talented young scientists. The time spent at Georgia Tech, the chance to participate in this compelling research project, and the podium presentation at the Orthopaedic Research Society s meeting, all provide great opportunities for new research insights. I congratulate Kapil on his achievements and wish him great success in his future career". Kapil will attend the meeting in Las Vegas along with a number of REMEDI scientists who will also be making presentations. The NCBES at NUI Galway will welcome its fifth cohort of students to the UREKA Programme in 2009 and applications will be accepted from undergraduate students worldwide. -Ends-

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Fulbright Scholar to Speak at NUI Galway's Water Seminar

Monday, 23 February 2009

The EU's Water Framework Directive is the subject of an upcoming workshop at NUI Galway on 5 March, from 2.30-4.30pm. Speakers will include the Fulbright Scholar Dr Jon MacDonagh-Dumler of the Institute for Water Research at Michigan State University. Ireland has similar water management problems to the Great Lakes region, and Dr MacDonagh-Dumler is currently based at NUI Galway researching the workings of the Water Framework Directive and factors that influence its management and implementation in Ireland. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) brings together, in one management scheme, the regulations of 11 existing major EU directives, to which Member States must comply. Following public consultation, Ireland and other EU countries will implement the first water management plan at the end of 2009. According to Dr MacDonagh-Dumler: "I have observed that the WFD management plan is designed to coordinate and improve existing management programmes that impact water resources, thus making the whole effort more efficient and effective. It also introduces novel opportunities for collaboration among many different stakeholders, including the public". Dr MacDonagh-Dumler's research project is being hosted by Dr Brendan Flynn of the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, who comments: "Ireland has much to gain from the four decade long American experience of clean water policy, but in my view that story is not really much understood by key policy actors or academics in Ireland. An authoritative American voice on these matters would add considerably to the Irish debate on clean water policies". Other perspectives at the seminar on 5 March, which is entitled 'The EU Water Framework Directive: Irish, European and American Perspectives' will come from speakers Francis Jacobs, Head of European Parliament Representations, and Sinead O'Brien, Chair of SWAN (Sustainable Water Network Ireland). The event is aimed at environmental researchers with a broad interest in water policy, and the general public with an interest in water quality and sustainability issues. According to Dr Martina Prendergast, Development Manager of the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway, which is supporting the event: "Dr MacDonagh-Dumler will be able to give us insights into the excellent 'state of the art' methodologies and academic traditions from the USA. Sinead O'Brien of SWAN will speak about the crucial question of public participation. This event offers a vital and timely contribution towards an issue of pressing concern in Ireland - our growing environmental problems". Registration for the event is free, for further information email -ends-

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New Research on Drugs is 'Important Milestone' According to NUI Galway Expert

Friday, 20 February 2009

Three new research reports are released today by the Western Region Drugs Task Force addressing tranquillser and sedative misuse; drug use in the Traveller community; and drugs issues in new communities. The new data target key gaps in knowledge on drugs issues in the West of Ireland. Launching the three reports in Galway, John Curran Minister of State with special responsibility for Drugs Strategy and Community Affairs at the Department of Community, Rural, and Gaeltacht Affairs said: "I am delighted to be here today to launch these three research reports for the Western Regional Drugs Task Force. In our role as policymakers it is vital that we establish reliable information concerning the nature and extent of drug misuse among all groups in society and also emerging trends of drugs misuse. I know that this research will be used to inform the work of the Task Force and will help to provide a better response to the needs of the communities covered by the Task Force". Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of NUI Galway's Health Promotion Research Centre, said: "This is an important milestone in the work of the Western Region Task Force, it emphasises the comittment working from the evidence and reinforces how important it is to work with communities and community groups to help address old and emerging problems". The three reports are: 1 Minor Tranquillsers and Sedatives: Use and Misuse in the West of Ireland, by Kealan Flynn of iWrite Consulting This report illustrates the huge pull on the public purse of inappropriately prescribed minor tranquillisers and sedatives. Between 2000 and 2007, national exchequer spending on these drugs was €168.9 million, of this €90 million was for drug costs and €79 million for professional fees. In this period almost 90,000 people received 1.5 million prescriptions in the western region – most of them older, female and medical card holders. This report clearly identifies how the national prescribing guidelines are not being followed - and recommends that this be addressed as a matter of urgency. 2. Substance Misuse in the Traveller Community: A Regional Needs Assessment, by Marie-Claire Van Hout of Waterford Institute of Technology This report highlights how changes within the Traveller community – including fragmentation of their traditional culture, poverty and experiences of marginalisation in Irish society - places them at increased risk of substance misuse. Although the evidence suggests that fewer Travellers use drugs than settled people, Traveller groups identified that illegal drug taking was most prevalent among young men in their community with very low levels being used by Traveller women. However, Traveller groups reported women most commonly abusing minor tranquillisers and sedatives. The report states that drug education and prevention for Travellers needs more attention, and recommends a community development approach to working with Travellers. 3. Substance Use in New Communities: A way forward, by Colette Kelly, Cliona Fitzpatrick and Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. This report describes how migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees are often cut off from supports – especially those who are isolated from their families and have poor English language skills. Immigrants generally come from countries with lower levels of drug use than in Ireland, and are often forced to alter their cultural values and behaviours to adapt to the lifesytle of the Irish population. The report recommends that barriers to effective service utilisation must be tackled and minimised; requiring supports for new communities, service providers and communication between the two. All three reports will be available for download from: -ends-

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Archbishop Tutu Praises NUI Galway's ALIVE Volunteering Programme

Friday, 20 February 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Following a lengthy standing ovation, Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressed a packed audience of over 1000 people at NUI Galway's Literary and Debating Society event on Sunday, 15 February. The Noble Peace Prize winner called for a sense of 'togetherness' in order that humanity might combat the challenges of climate change and economic meltdown. Archbishop Tutu, who led South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was critical of the vast sums spent on military budgets, when so many lacked clean water, education and basic healthcare. Referring to the 'so-called war on terror', he said there was no way to win 'as long as there are conditions in the world that make people desperate'. The Archbishop was introduced by Sir Bob Geldof, who told the packed auditorium 'how privileged we are to be in the same room as an historic giant'. Sir Bob was making his first visit to NUI Galway in over 30 years, since he gigged in the college bar with the Boomtown Rats. Speaking about the spirit of volunteering at NUI Galway, the Archbishop praised the University's ALIVE volunteering programme which encourages civic engagement, describing it to media as 'fantastic'. He also reminded the audience that every human was family, and said 'you know you all come from Africa'. Dan Colley, Auditor of the Literary and Debating Society at NUI Galway, described the Archbishop's address and 'enlightening and lightening', referring to the South Africans humour. At the end of proceedings, Sir Bob Geldof presented the Literary & Debating Society's highest accolade, the President's Medal, to Archbishop Tutu. The medal has previously been awarded to such notable figures as philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky, US Senator Mike Gravel, Congressman Bruce Morrison, and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Proceeds from the event have been pledged to two charities of Archbishop Tutu's choice, Tygerberg Children's Hospital and Philani Child Health and Nutrition project in South Africa. Ardmholadh Tugtha ag an Ardeaspag Tutu do Scéim Dheonach ALIVE in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) I ndiaidh don slua seasamh agus bualadh bos fada a thabhairt dó, labhair an tArdeaspag Desmond Tutu leis an mbreis is 1000 duine a bhí sa lucht éisteachta ag ócáid Chumann Liteartha agus Díospóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, Dé Domhanigh, 15 Feabhra. D'iarr buaiteoir Dhuais Síochána Nobel go mbeadh 'aontacht' ann sa chaoi go mbeidh an cine daonna in ann aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin a bhaineann leis an athrú aeráide agus leis an ngéarchéim sa gheilleagar. Rinne an tArdeaspag Tutu, a bhí i gceannas ar Choimisiún Fírinne agus Athmhuintearais na hAfraice Theas, cáineadh ar na suimeanna ollmhóra airgid a chaitear ar bhuiséid mhíleata, nuair atá a oiread sin daoine gan uisce glan, gan oideachas ná cúram bunúsach sláinte. Ag tagairt dó don 'chogadh in aghaidh na sceimhlitheoireachta', mar a thugtar air, dúirt sé nach bhféadfaí an cogadh sin a bhaint 'fad atá cúrsaí ar domhan ag cur éadóchais ar dhaoine'. Chuir Bob Geldof an tArdeaspag Tutu i láthair, agus dúirt sé leis an slua 'gur phribhléid é bheith sa seomra céanna le fathach de chuid na staire'. Ba í céadchuairt Bob Geldof ar OÉ Gaillimh í le 30 bliain, ó bhí sé ag seinm i mbeár an choláiste leis na Boomtown Rats. Ag labhairt dó faoina thógtha atá OÉ Gaillimh le hobair dheonach, mhol an tArdeaspag Tutu scéim dheonach ALIVE a chuireann an comhpháirteachas poiblí chun cinn, agus dúirt sé leis na meáin go bhfuil an scéim seo 'thar barr'. Chuir sé i gcuimhne don lucht éisteachta gur gaol gach duine lena chéile, agus dúirt 'tá a fhios agaibh gurb as an Afraic sibh ar fad'. Dúirt Dan Colley, Reachtaire Chumann Liteartha agus Díospóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, go raibh aitheasc an Ardeaspaig 'lán eolais agus lán de chroí', ag tagairt dó d'acmhainn ghrinn fhear na hAfraice Theas. Bhronn Bob Geldof Bonn an Uachtaráin, buaicghradam an Chumainn Liteartha agus Díospóireachta, ar an Ardeaspag Tutu i ndiaidh na léachta. I measc na ndaoine ar bronnadh an gradam seo orthu go dtí seo bhí an fealsamh agus an teangeolaí Noam Chomsky, an Seanadóir Meiriceánach Mike Gravel, an Feisire Meiriceánach Bruce Morrisson, agus an t-iar-Thaoiseach Bertie Ahern. Bronnadh luach na dticéad ar dhá charthanas a roghnaigh an tArdeaspag Tutu, Ospidéal Leanaí Tygerberg agus tionscadal Sláinte agus Cothaithe Leanaí Philani san Afraic Theas. -Críoch-

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